Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 253-267

First online:

Child sexual abuse and pornography: Is there a relationship?

  • Dean D. KnudsenAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology, Purdue University

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Sexual abuse is now a major form of child maltreatment; however, the causes of such exploitation are obscure. A review of official reports and other research indicate that the circumstances surrounding sexual abuse are inadequately specified to allow specific causal interpretations. The role of pornography in contributing to such abuse is explored by reviewing laboratory studies and the circumstances of child sexual abuse. An assessment of the research literature suggests that pornography is a minor and indirect influence on child sexual maltreatment.

Key words

child sexual abuse child maltreatment child pornography